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Herbs In My Garden

Herbs In My Garden

This year I have planted quite a few different herbs in my garden areas, and this past week I have harvested and dried three of them.  I have comfrey, yarrow, and linden flowers.  The linden flowers are not really something that I planted myself, because it is a huge tree in the front of my yard, but every year at this time, the flowers come on strong on my tree and they are the most delightful smelling flowers ever.  Here is my process of harvesting and drying these three particular herbs for medicine value.

Imagine yourself sitting under a beautiful tall green tree. The soft summer breeze gently ripples through its shiny heart-shaped leaves.

High overhead, you can hear honey bees lazily buzzing in and out of its perfumed flowers. The shade is cooling and the scent has a calming effect. You feel relaxed and alive and aware of its healing energy.

This is the linden tree. Sometimes if grows 130 feet high, and produces some of the most powerful herbal medicine known to humans. You may even have one of these trees on your street because they are planted widely in cities, and are fairly common in the countryside throughout Ontario where they are usually known as basswood. – See more at: http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/the-linden-tree/#sthash.0DIROirr.dpuf

Imagine yourself sitting under a beautiful tall green tree. The soft summer breeze gently ripples through its shiny heart-shaped leaves.

High overhead, you can hear honey bees lazily buzzing in and out of its perfumed flowers. The shade is cooling and the scent has a calming effect. You feel relaxed and alive and aware of its healing energy.

This is the linden tree. Sometimes if grows 130 feet high, and produces some of the most powerful herbal medicine known to humans. You may even have one of these trees on your street because they are planted widely in cities, and are fairly common in the countryside throughout Ontario where they are usually known as basswood. – See more at: http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/the-linden-tree/#sthash.0DIROirr.dpuf

Linden flowers

Linden flowers

My awesome Linden Tree

My awesome Linden Tree

Linden flowers or blossoms – great for the digestive system as a tea, commonly used in teas to soothe anxiety or panic, can be used in the bath water as a relaxing bath, and helps with insomnia when drank as a tea before bed time.  It is known to help lower blood pressure, and to help restore the liver.  Worth doing a little more research on this treasure! I like to use it in my salves that I make simply because it has the calming properties, and it makes them smell so delicious.  I think I am going to try making a perfume with it before too long.  I will post it when I do.

Here is a little blurb that someone wrote about the Linden tree, and I quote it here with the link to the original article.     “Imagine yourself sitting under a tall green tree. The soft summer breeze gently ripples through it’s shiny heart shaped leaves.  High overhead you can hear honeybees lazily buzzing  in and out of it’s perfumed flowers.  The shade is cooling and the scent has a calming effect.  You feel relaxed and alive and aware of it’s healing energy.  This is the Linden tree.”  Love it!

Imagine yourself sitting under a beautiful tall green tree. The soft summer breeze gently ripples through its shiny heart-shaped leaves.

High overhead, you can hear honey bees lazily buzzing in and out of its perfumed flowers. The shade is cooling and the scent has a calming effect. You feel relaxed and alive and aware of its healing energy.

This is the linden tree. – See more at: http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/the-linden-tree/#sthash.0DIROirr.dpuf

Imagine yourself sitting under a beautiful tall green tree. The soft summer breeze gently ripples through its shiny heart-shaped leaves.

High overhead, you can hear honey bees lazily buzzing in and out of its perfumed flowers. The shade is cooling and the scent has a calming effect. You feel relaxed and alive and aware of its healing energy.

This is the linden tree. Sometimes if grows 130 feet high, and produces some of the most powerful herbal medicine known to humans. You may even have one of these trees on your street because they are planted widely in cities, and are fairly common in the countryside throughout Ontario where they are usually known as basswood. – See more at: http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/the-linden-tree/#sthash.0DIROirr.dpuf

Imagine yourself sitting under a beautiful tall green tree. The soft summer breeze gently ripples through its shiny heart-shaped leaves.

High overhead, you can hear honey bees lazily buzzing in and out of its perfumed flowers. The shade is cooling and the scent has a calming effect. You feel relaxed and alive and aware of its healing energy.

This is the linden tree. Sometimes if grows 130 feet high, and produces some of the most powerful herbal medicine known to humans. You may even have one of these trees on your street because they are planted widely in cities, and are fairly common in the countryside throughout Ontario where they are usually known as basswood. – See more at: http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/the-linden-tree/#sthash.0DIROirr.dpuf

Comfrey

Comfrey

Comfrey is a well know plant for healing. I use it in my own miracle salve recipe that I make, as it has great properties for healing cuts, scrapes, bruises, and even bones. It can be used as a poultice or compress to help heal broken bones and is known for this.  There is some controversy as to whether or not it should be taken internally.  Some herbalists use it, and others will tell you not to.  Do your research before taking it internally.  It can cause damage to the liver, especially if taken often.  It is a miracle herb in itself when it comes to healing and using in my salves.

Yarrow plant

Yarrow plant

Yarrow blossoms

Yarrow blossoms

Yarrow is a great little plant, and grows wild in pretty much every prairie or empty lot, and often in lawns around here.  Yarrow is a great plant to know about.  By using its feathery leaves and crunching them up, they can be placed over a wound to stop bleeding.  It can also be drank as a tea to help stop bleeding internally and heal things like bleeding ulcers.  I also will use this in my miracle salve recipe because of its properties to speed up healing.  Yarrow also has some properties that act similar to aspirin and will help relieve pain.  It is a great herb that affects so many different parts of the body, in fact some scientists say that it affects every part of the body in some small way.  It is also known to promote sweating and is often given as a tea to help do this, to in turn break a fever.

Okay now for the drying part…….I dry the yarrow hanging upside down from my clothesline, and the comfrey and linden I just laid them flat on some trays.  Each of these were completely dry in 48 hours, but then we have been having some pretty extreme heat around here.

hanging yarrow from the clothesline

hanging yarrow from the clothesline

Linden flowers drying

Linden flowers drying

Comfrey leaves laying flat to dry.

Comfrey leaves laying flat to dry.

And the finished products………..

Linden flowers, yarrow leaves and blossoms, and comfrey leaves all ready to be used.

Linden flowers, yarrow leaves and blossoms, and comfrey leaves all ready to be used.

Yay!  I love harvesting and drying the herbs, and then using them in the medicines that I make.  It is kind of a cool feeling to know that I actually understand what to know and use these things for.  I love it!

Today, I am heading over to a small  park that is not too far from my house and I will be harvesting some plantain. Plantain grows wild pretty much everywhere, but this one particular park it is thick and beautiful.  I will take pictures.

 

 

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Weekly Wisdom #9

WEEKLY WISDOM #9

Motivational Mondy – Be thankful and grateful for your freedom of religion. Be thankful we have a living prophet to guide us through these days. Be thankful that our prophets have warned us and guided us to be prepared. “Be prepared in all things against the day when tribulation and desolation are sent forth upon the wicked.” D&C 29:8

Timely Tuesday – How can I prepare for a blackout? Have some of these basic supplies on hand: candles, matches, lighters, lanterns, fuel for lanterns, batteries, and alternate cooking source, like full propane tank for your barbecue.

What do I do during a blackout? Turn off any appliances or electronics you were using, to avoid spikes or surges damaging equipment when the power comes back on. Leave one light turned on so you will know when the power comes back on. Leave your fridge and freezer closed as much as possible to keep things cold. Use the phone for emergency only. Eliminate unnecessary travel because signal lights will not be working traffic congestion will happen. Remember to provide for your pets in blackouts. Put on layers of clothing. Never burn charcoal indoors. Have your supplies all ready, easily accessible.

Workin’ Wednesday – Add today to your 72 hour kit a list. This list is a “DON’T FORGET” list. Include all items that you need to remember to take with you but are using each day so they can’t be put into your kits. Tape it to the side of your kit securely so that it doesn’t peel off. The list should include things like keys, wallet, medications, special needs, recipe book, tent, sleeping bags, etc. Write down beside each item where you can find it. In an emergency it is easy to forget even the simplest things. Also if there is someone else helping you evacuate, they can easily find what they need by looking on your kit. Since your kits will already be by your door, ready to go, you should have a few minutes to quickly gather these items, especially if you have your list ready.

Thrifty Thursday – “There is an old wise saying: Eat it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without. Thrift is a practice of not wasting anything. Some people are able to get by because of the absence of expense. They have their shoes resoled, they patch, they mend, they sew, and they save money. They avoid installment buying, and make purchases only after saving enough to pay cash, thus avoiding interst charges. Furgality means to practice careful economy.” James E. Faust

As we are thinking of Christmas this year, let’s not be wasteful on our purchases. Let us have a new way of helping those we love. How many times do we waste money on things that are just that, “things” that have no real value. Give gifts this year that will make a difference in the lives of those you know. Here are a few small ideas.

  • A small lantern and fuel for it

  • Wind up flashlight / radio

  • Grain mill and a few bags of wheat

  • 72 hour kit

  • Emergency Car Kit

  • Good sleeping bag

  • Warm outdoor clothing

  • Cookbooks for food storage

Food Storage Friday – Price recognition is important in food storage. Before you can take advantage of good deals, you need to be able to recognize them. Create a worksheet or list of items you are looking for, or commonly use. Begin to watch the flyers and check around to various places and start to track the prices and soon you will be able to pick out the good ones. And then when you learn to pick out the good deals, learn to buy them in bulk to stock up on items regularly used in your food storage. Soon you will find that you “FOOD STORAGE SHOP” not “grocery shop”. Then you start to see some real results in your home preparedness and it gets exciting.

Sopapillas (These will keep for weeks without refrigeration, and can also be frozen for longer term.)

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 tablespoon sugar

1/3 cup dry milk

3 tablespoons shortening

3/4 cup cool water

Optional cinnamon-sugar coating:

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

Directions:

1. Mix together the dry ingredients. Cut in the shortening. At this point, you have a mix. Store the mix for no longer than thirty days in the pantry, six months in the refrigerator, or two years in the freezer.

2. To use the mix, place the ingredients in a medium bowl. Form a depression in the middle and pour in the water.

3. Cut the water into the mix. The dough will be crumbly and dry. Remove to a clean surface and knead for two minutes. You will have a stiff dough.

4. Form the dough into balls the size of golf balls. Smash the balls flat with the heel of your hand until they are no more than 1/4-inch thick.

5. Heat cooking oil in a heavy fry pan or Dutch oven. The oil should be 3/8- inch deep and hot enough that there is a slight sizzle when the dough is placed in the oil.

6. Fry each side until brown. You can then slit open one side and fill with taco meat, chili, tuna salad, or whatever your family likes. Or you can dip in cinnamon and sugar.

These will turn into a family favorite and are so easy to make.

Makes about 36

 

Weekly Wisdom #8

Weekly Wisdom #8

Motivational Monday “The greatest events that have been spoken of by all of the Holy Prophets will come along so naturally as the consequences of certain causes, that unless our eyes are enlightened by the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of Revelation rests upon us, we will fail to see that these are the events predicted by the Holy Prophets.” George Q. Canon

Elder L Tom Perry, 1995 “I believe it is time, and perhaps with some urgency, to review the counsel we have received in dealing with our personal and family preparedness….We have been instructed to follow at least four requirements in preparing for that which is to come. Gain an adequate education. Live within your income. Avoid unnecessary debt, and store a reserve of food and supplies…..As long as I can remember, we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a year supply of necessities. I would guess that the years of plenty have almost universally caused us to set aside this counsel. I believe the time to disregard this counsel is over. With events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness.”


Timely Tuesday Today is a day to think and make a list. What I am going to do today is write a list of all of the skills I believe my children will need in the future. And then attempt to check off that list as I teach them. I believe that our days of “normal” education are no longer adequate for the lives our children will live. They need to have real life skills, survival skills, back to basic type skills, as well as education, high tech skills, and low tech skills. Skills to deal with economic trials, and leadership skills. I do not like to knock the public school systems, but the reality is, they don’t teach all of these kinds of things to our children, and we as parents have that responsibility to do so. So today make that list, think into the future of your kids / grandchildren and try to imagine what they may need to know, (I know that is a tough one) and then get to work teaching. Make use of those family home evenings, and any teaching moment. Teaching something is also the best way to really learn it.


Workin’ Wednesday – Today check your 72 hour kits for comfort foods and entertainment. Comfort foods are not life saving items, but in an emergency they may very well be. It is so important that we have familiar items in our kits, not only for our children but ourselves. Something that will help to take our mind off of the emergency situation and relieve stress. Comfort foods and entertainment will help to do this. Your comfort foods may include some form of chocolate, salty snacks, gum, hard candy, something that has a decent shelf life to sit in your kit and not spoil. Entertainment could include coloring books and crayons, card games, puzzle books, magazines, or anything that the person using the kit really likes. Remember to keep the foods and entertainment light weight, but remember to get them in there!


Thrifty Thursday – Learning how to make food from scratch, or from your food storage has several benefits:

  1. It is definitely healthier for you, no preservatives

  2. It will save you lots of money, you can make something for pennies, or buy it for dollars!

  3. It will cause you to rotate your food storage

  4. You and your family will learn before a crisis hits, how to use your storage and actually enjoy it. Then when the time comes to use it, your bodies won’t suffer from the switch over.

Today make something from scratch, like flour tortillas. The biggest thrifty, money saver for most people is learning to cook at home, rather than eating out. So look through those thrifty recipes and make something from food storage items today. And then come to the Wonderful Wheat class tonight!


Food Storage Friday – President Kimball has said, “Preparedness, when properly pursued, is a way of life, not a sudden spectacular program.”

Did you know that included in our food storage should be bedding, clothing, medical supplies, garden seeds, lighting sources, and fuel sources, to name a few.

Today is the day to check your alternate fuel sources. Your utilities could easily be interrupted during a natural disaster, but food must still be cooked, dishes must be washed, people must be bathed and kept warm. The families that have sources of fuel in their “food storage” will be much better prepared than those who ignore this counsel. Today would be a good day to check your fuel sources and see what needs updating. How about making sure your propane tanks are all full for the winter, that way you could use your barbecues. Think of ways you could cook, clean and stay warm if electricity was unavailable, and get them organized today. Winter is here! Don’t be caught off guard.

Some ideas, candles, matches, lighters, light sticks, small cook / heat stoves, kerosene and lanterns, flashlights, hand/feet/body warmers, propane, generators (stored fuel), fuel for any alternate sources you have,

 

WEEKLY WISDOM #7

Motivational Monday – Benjamin Franklin said “Failing to prepare is simply preparing to fail.”

Can we afford to be wrong?

Is it better have, what you don’t need – or – need what you don’t have?

Is it better to have a little too much – than to have a little too little?

Is it better to be prepared a little too soon – than one day late?

The United States grain inventories are at their lowest level, in history, according to record keeping by the U.S.D.A. In 1960 they had a 1095 day, or 3 year supply of grain reserves. In 2005 they had a 1 day reserve! 70% of the One-Day reserve consisted of unprocessed wheat and the remaining 30% was fresh milk, cheese, peanuts and lentils.

Can we afford to be wrong?

Timely Tuesday – The WHO (World Health Organization) predicts that the world is now closer to a pandemic than in the past 50 years. The influenza season is about to begin according to Dr. Paul Schnee, who visited us last Thursday evening. Today put together a “flu kit”. Think of the things that you would need to take care of your family when the nasty flu season hits. Start adding to your kit. Have it ready with any medical supplies that you will anticipate that you may need. Dr. Schnee made it very clear that these items will likely not be available at the greatest time we will need them so we should gather them now! Have food stored, savings (cash), alternate communication methods, and skill knowledge available. Look forward to after the New Year when we have an evening to learn basic nursing skills and hygiene skills to be able to care for our loved ones in our home!

Start today and prepare for this. Now is the time! It is only a matter of time, so plan for the worst, and pray for the least!

Workin’ Wednesday – Today add to your 72 hr kits some things for general sanitation. You can create a portable toilet out of a five gallon bucket with a tight fitting lid. Fill it with a plastic bags for liners, toilet paper, twist ties, disinfectant, powdered chlorinated lime, deodorant and insecticides, ziploc bags, wipes, toothpaste and toothbrush, shampoo, soap, feminine supplies, kleenex, chapstick, bug spray, hair brush, mirror, hand towel, face cloths, and anything else you think your family will need for sanitation.

After you have it filled, snap the lid on and put it with your 72 hour kits and you have ready made, transportable, washroom.

Thrifty Thursday – How about going through some of your old clothes and shoes today. Some of your old winter clothes may prove useful in your 72 hour kits, or in your car travel kits for the winter. Some old but sturdy shoes could be used instead of thrown out. Think of how you could reuse items, instead of throwing them out. I believe there will come a day when we will wish we had learned this principle of thrift. So start today with this one small task of sorting and finding other uses for the clothes or shoes we would normally toss. I remember a time when instead of throwing something out, my mother and grandmother would cut off all of the buttons, zippers, pockets, or anything else reusable, so that they could use it on something else. It is a forgotten art!

Food Storage Friday – Here is a great way to use your food storage and save a little bit of money. It is called Cream of Whatever Soup Mix – From your storage you use:

2 cups powdered non fat dry milk

¾ cup cornstarch

¼ cup instant chicken or vegetable bouillon

2 tbsp dried onnion flakes

1 tsp basil leaves,

1 tsp thyme leaves

dash of pepper

Combine ingredients and stir until evenly mixed. To substitute for 1 can of condensed cream of whatever soup, combine 1/3 cup dry mix with 1 ¼ cups cold water. Heat and stir until it thickens. Use as you would canned soup. Makes the equivalent of 9 cans of soup at the cost of pennies per recipe.

Mushroom soup: add ½ cup finely chopped mushrooms

Celery: add ¼ cup minced celery

Potato: add 1 cup cooked diced potatoes

Chicken: add any amount of cooked chicken

Vegetable: add ¾ cup cooked vegetables

Broccoli: add 1 cup cooked chopped broccoli

 
 
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